Samsung’s STORY Station drives will be the first 3.5-inch external hard drives to boast a standby power consumption of less than 1W. The typical standby power consumption of external hard drives is around 2.5W, so lowering that figure to 0.09W constitutes a reduction of more than 95 percent. The reduced standby power level easily meets requirements for the forthcoming European Union’s EuP (Energy Using Products) Directive for Standby Regulation, which is effective from January 2010.

Samsung achieved the cut in standby power consumption by adopting a new circuit structure, which makes the drive non-operational when the power cable is connected but the USB port is not – in other words, when the computer is turned off. Although 2.5W might not sound like a lot to begin with, just consider how many external hard drives there are in use around the world – I’m looking at three sitting on my desk right now. If other manufacturers follow Samsung’s lead, such reductions could add up to a serious benefit to the environment in terms of reduced CO2 emissions.

Samsung’s STORY Station hard drive line up is already available in capacities ranging from 500GB to 2TB without the lowered standby power feature, but the new technology will be adopted in all STORY Station drives shipped from early November.